There’s no doubt that Greece’s Islands are stunning. No matter where you go whether it’s the Ionian Islands, the Argo Saronic Islands or the Cyclades each island has its own beauty and piece of paradise.
On my recent trip to Greece I visited two of the most famous Islands in the Cyclades or should I say Greece. Of course I’m talking about Santorini and Mykonos. The beauty of these two Islands is that they are so different from each other.
I caught a ferry from Heraklion in Crete to Santorini it only took a few hours to get there from Crete so the ferry ride wasn’t to long or tedious- although I still prefer to fly.
Now Santorini doesn’t have the aqua waters that you see in postcards or the white or gold sands that you have seen in the movies and travel shows. So scrap that idea when you’re thinking of Santorini. The Island is composed of volcanic sand and pebbles. Breathtaking in its own right! So here’s my break down of the worlds most romanticized island.
Sunset: Everyone will tell you to go to Oia (pronounced Eeya) to see the sunset. But if you want to bet the crowds and the craziness of this part of the island (because believe me between the tourists and the traffic it’s a complete nightmare) then may I suggest staying in Fira. You can see the sunset from most vantage points along the caldera. Sitting at a restaurant with the balcony overlooking the caldera and enjoying a wine and meze ( finger food or nibbles) whilst you watch the sun go down over the ocean is one of the best experiences you will have in your life!
Santo wines: You can go on a winery tour or sit back and enjoy views of the caldera whilst sampling some of Greece’s finest wines. These grapes have been grown in volcanic soil and their taste is beautiful.
The beaches: Santorini is no known for its turquoise waters or white sandy beaches. Remember the island is part of a volcano the soil is volcanic. There are a few beaches you can visit . These are:
- Red beach: known for its red sand, located near the ancient historical site of Akrotiri and surrounded by huge red cliffs. It’s definitely a must see.
- Kamari beach: If you want to swim then Kamari is definitely the beach for it. The water is calm and dense. It’s a nice beach situated in the town of Kamari, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to eat at. This is a pebbly beach so be sure to bring your flip-flops with you.
- Eros/Theros beach: to be honest this was not one of the nicest beaches I’ve seen, but they do have a great bar where you can kick back and listen to some good music while you lay on a sun bed or just chill at the bar.
Santorini is not a big Island you can see a lot in two days- they will be jam packed, but remember most sites are quick visit and then off to the next destination on the island.
So after a couple of nights in Santorini it was back on the ferry and off to Mykonos.
Mykonos is one of those islands that you will either love or hate, there’s no real in between. It’s crowded in summer – like really crowded. In peak season around mid July to late August you are literally rubbing shoulders with people in the tiny laneways that make up Mykonos town.
This is the party Island, you have bars and clubs that are open well past the early hours of the morning and day clubs to keep you going until you do it all again the next night.
There are heaps of beaches to choose from depending what you want to do.
Beaches to relax at are Elia, Kalafati, Lia and Kalo Livadi these beaches will offer you a chance to lay in the sun and recover from the night before without being to over crowded and crazy.
If you’re looking for beaches to keep the party going then Paradise, Super Paradise and Paraga are the ones to do it at . These beaches have it all, live DJ’s , dancers, swimming, drinking and practically anything else you can imagine.
Food wise be aware that the price of food is expensive along the water near the wind mills.
Mykonos town is full of great bars that you can hop in and out of . It’s truly a party Island that also draws the worlds best DJs to it. So if you’re lucky you just might get to see a top international act at one of the clubs.
If you want to go to a day club and have some great food for either lunch or dinner may I suggest Scorpios situated at Paraga, the food is really good (pricey but good) and the atmosphere is amazing. Now this place closes at about 2am so don’t expect it to be going until the early hours of the morning thats what places like Cavo Paradiso and Mykonos town are for.
Be sure to spend a few days on this Island to truly experience it . Also if there’s a few of you in a group, whilst public transport is available ( it’s really not that great) hire a car as taxis are scarce.
Happy Island hopping!